The South Alligator River near the Ranger Uranium Mine in outback Australia is in flood. Nothing is stable - everything is a reflection of a reflection. Waterbirds swoop and glide across silver surfaces in and out of sync with unmoored radio signals from Sputnik 1, the long-lost satellite. Birds and signals, traces adrift in the ether of flooded, radioactive wetlands.
Long Life (1) is inspired by the environment in and around Ranger Uranium Mine in the World Heritage Kakadu National Park. The mine experiences routine seasonal failure of the water management systems. Long Life (1) imagines a time when contaminated waters have flooded the park’s wetlands. Sounds that resemble discordant bird song circle overhead. The sound is composed from amateur radio recordings from Sputnik 1, the first artificial Earth satellite launched in 1957 that triggered the Space Race, part of the larger Cold War that drove the development of nuclear power.
Conception, camera, editing: Merilyn Fairskye Duration: 7 mins. March 2013.